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Common Medical and Health Issues

common medical and health issues, Medical Diagnosis, diagnosisof disease, diagnosing senior citizen diseases, senior diseases, senior citizen diseases, common senior diseases, common diseases in senior citizens, common medical and health issues, common medical and health issues for seniorsSeniors, we all have to face the fact that as we age, our bodies and mind change.  Some changes may just be part of normal aging, while other changes may be a warning sign of a medical problem. It is important to know the difference.   Many common medical and health issues, both genetic and environmental, affect how we age.  Older adults have limited regenerative abilities and are more prone to disease, syndromes, and sickness so may be affected severely and more easily.  Most conditions result from decreased function or degeneration of the involved organ.  Advances in medications and physical health treatment techniques are allowing people to live longer. However, the body we had at forty may be a very different body than the one we have when we reach our golden years.

With age, you have a slower reaction time, your skin gets thinner, your immune system weakens, and your sense of task and smell diminish.  Understanding the associated potential challenges and the common medical and health issues that you may face one day, can lead to a safer and healthier life.  From diagnosis, to acceptance and lifestyle changes, to treatment and understanding the potential complications and dangers associated with each condition, knowledge is power.  While a doctor’s visit may be needed to address medical issues, there are some common ailments that may benefit from home remedies.

Bed Sores – Bed sores are a very common problem faced many elderly or senior citizens of the world.  If you find yourself in a bed or chair on a regular basis, you may find yourself with a sore.   It is always better to prevent rather than treat any medical condition.  Massaging sore areas to stimulate circulation and keeping the areas dry are two great preventive measures.  Maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins and fiber and avoid too many meats.

  • honey beesUse a sugar and honey poultice (cloth caked with sugar and honey that is put over the  the wound and covered with a bandage).  Medical honey for wound healing may be pure-form honey, tube honey, or honey ointment. Honey has many beneficial properties including analgesia, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, immunostimulant, debridement and deodorizing actions. Honey also has the ability to nourish and moisten the skin and decrease scarring. From a medical perspective, choosing the right type of honey is critical for the best treatment results. Topical honey has been shown to be safe and effective to decrease pain and promote overall quality of life.
  • You can also apply zinc oxide ointment, aloe vera, or wheat germ oil as a salve and moisture barrier.
  • And/or you can wash the sores at least 2-4 times a day by making a mixture of witch hazel and turmeric root/goldenseal.

Cough – When substances irritate the nerve endings in the airways between the throat and lungs we cough. A cough is the body’s way of trying to clear the passages.  While a chronic cough can be a sign of a serious illness, most people consider the common cough to be more of an annoyance than a health issue.  But there are home remedies to get rid of the common cough.

  • Make a drink by mixing equal amount of honey and lemon grass juice
  • Mix a syrup consisting of 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons water
  • Boil some water with 2 garlic cloves, 1 table spoon of oregano. Pour into a cup add 1 tablespoon of honey.

Acid Reflux Disease and Heartburn Pain – We all get it from time to time, that heartburn associated with a particularly spicy meal or other food that aggravates our digestive system. But for some people, the discomfort is an indications of acid reflux, or GERD, which occurs when food, acid contents, bilious material or pancreatic juices travel back up into your esophagus.

  • Mexican FoodEat a healthy diet of foods that minimize stomach acid. Avoid oranges, orange juice, coffee, coffee, soda, tea, iced tea, carbonated beverages, chocolate (food or beverages with caffeine), liquor, tomatoes, grapefruit, garlic, onion, pepper (Mexican food, chili, and any other food that is loaded with pepper or other spices), peppermint, cheese, nuts, avocadoes, and fatty meats.
  • You may be surprised to find out that one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar (which will still have the necessary enzymes) in water just before a meal helps prevent acid reflex.
  • Bananas, apples, figs, pineapple and papaya along with carrots and cabbage are easy on the stomach. Cinnamon, cardamom, mace, nutmeg, and slippery elm are a few herbs and spices that also help reduce the effects of acid reflux.
  • Chewing gum is another quick remedy for acid reflux by increasing saliva production which is the body’s natural ant-acid.

Home Remedies for Asthma – Asthma can be very dangerous, even cause death.  The severity of asthma varies from person to person.  But everyone with asthma can benefit by preventing it before breathing becomes a problem.  One obvious irritant is smoking.  Even secondary smoke is enough to cause someone with asthma to suffer an attack.  So avoid any confined areas with smoke.  But there are a number of other things you can do as well.

  • Watch the weather and stay in when it is cold, humid, windy or rainy as these conditions can create issues for someone with asthma.
  • Some people are particularly sensitive to animals. Both hair and dead dry skin are known to cause issues for some people.
  • Stay away from people with cough, colds, flu or other signs of infection or respiratory illness.
  • While uncommon, some people have an asthma attack as a result of a food allergy. Common offenders include nuts, shellfish, milk intolerance, eggs, and strawberries. If these foods make your asthma worse, avoid them.
  • No not take aspirin without your doctor’s order as it can trigger an attack.
  • Yellow dye in food may aggravate your asthma.
  • If you are particularly sensitive to asthma attacks, you may need to stay away from sulfites.
  • This may be found in wine, lemon juice, dried fruits and canned vegetables.

fluCold and Flu – A cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by any one of hundreds of different viruses and the body has to rely on its own natural defenses.  Once you are infected, however, you can try to reduce some of the aches and pains.

  • Echinacea activates the body’s immune system increasing the chances of fighting off any disease. The large polysaccharides increase the production of T-cells and increase other natural killer cell activity. Echinacea can be found in the form of a tea or pill.
  • Liquorice has been used to soothe chest and sore throats for centuries. Liquorice contains anti-viral compounds that causes the release of interferon, the body’s anti-viral proteins. It is an expectorant and anti-inflammatory which also makes it great for coughs and lung infections.
  • Bee Pollen has wonderful blood building and rejuvenating properties. It is also beneficial for people healing from an illness and is often used for strengthening the immune system.

Laxative – Constipation may be embarrassing.  But most of use realize it can be debilitating.  Instead of rushing to the drug store for a laxative, consider some natural home remedies to relieve your discomfort.

  • Licorice root extract is sometimes used as a mild laxative. It may also be used as a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat gastric ulcers, respiratory problems such as bronchitis and skin conditions such as eczema and canker sores. When taken with stimulant laxatives, licorice can increase potassium loss causing fatigue, muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, paralysis and constipation. If you consume 20 g per day or more, black licorice candy with glycyrrhizin can cause pseudoaldosteronism causing fluid retention, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and swelling of the arms and legs. People with heart or kidney conditions, diabetes or liver disease should not consume black licorice candy that contains actual licorice.
  • Castor oil is effective at bowel evacuation. This treatment also has no side effects. It can be taken safely, irrespective of the physiology of the patient and the climatic conditions.
  • Pure olive oil is more than just a healthy fat, it can also help relieve constipation. It stimulates your digestive system, which helps get your digestive tract into motion. It can even be used to prevent constipation. Each morning before you eat, swallow a tablespoon of olive oil. If you prefer to lighten the taste, add a teaspoon of lemon juice, which also acts as a natural aid for constipation.

WartWarts – Warts are often deemed as unwanted or as unpleasant often found on the back of the hand, around fingernails and on the fingers. They can also be found on elbows and knees. Warts are rarely non-cancerous, but they can be unsightly.  Many people prefer to get rid of them rather than waiting for them to go away on their own, which can take months to years.  Consider using one of these four home remedies.

  • Method 1: Soak a small cotton ball in aloe gel. Tape the saturated cotton ball to your wart. Add aloe vera to the wart or cotton every few hours. Repeat and change it daily.   Your wart should fall off in a few days or weeks.
  • Method 2: Essential oil of tea tree is a powerful antiseptic which kills most bacteria and thus is an extremely potent method of wart removal. This method is also very popular due to its very high rate of success. Just apply essential tea tree oil directly on the wart daily until it disappears. This method should not take too many applications due to its effectiveness.
  • Method 3: The natural antibiotic effects of Echinacea helps mild skin infections heal. Since warts are actually caused by a viral infection, it is also helpful for warts.
  • Method 4: Apply a one drop of essential lemon oil to the wart itself. Repeat as needed until the wart disappears.

Hair Loss – Loss of hair can occur due to a sebaceous cysts, medication, fungal infections, poor digestion, parasites or nutritional deficiencies.   In many cases, hair loss can be temporary.  Sometimes a medical condition may be the culprit.  For example, an over or under active thyroid gland can cause hair to fall out.  Propecia and Minoxidil are drugs that have been reported to having shown some success in partially reversing loss but there are potential serious side effects and your current medical condition may exclude you from using these products.   Anemia can cause hair loss. However iron supplements should not be taken without medical professional consultation.  Unless you have an underlying medical condition or take a medication that affect your iron level, a healthy diet should prevent anemia.  If you suffer from a metabolic disorder you may have thinning or brittle hair and nails.  In this case Zinc and Biotin may help promote hair growth.  Consult with your physician regarding consumption of supplements.

  • Regular aerobic exercise can help keep androgen levels lower while maintaining overall health and lowering stress.
  • Foods that promote healthy hair include:
    • Salmon that are rich in protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources are herring, sardines, trout, and mackerel, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
    • Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in biatin and vitamin E. The copper in walnuts helps to keep your hair color rich and silky.
    • The zink in oysters, nuts, beef, eggs, fortified cereal and whole grain breads help to prevent hair loss. Oysters have the added benefit of protein which is needed to replace the hairs naturally lost each day.
    • FoodsSweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin and apricots are great sources of the antioxidant beta carotene which is needed to help protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp.
    • Eggs are great for zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles. Iron can also be found in chicken, fish, pork and beef.
    • The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach, broccoli, kale, swiss chard help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
    • Not many people think about the nutritional benefits of lentils. They are actually full of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. If you prefer, soybean or kidney beans are also sources for these nutritional benefits.
    • Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk have protein, vitamin B5 and vitamin D. New studies are linking vitamin D to hair follicle health.
    • Greek yogurt, is rich with hair beneficial protein, vitamin B5 and vitamin D. Emerging research links vitamin D and hair follicle health.
    • Blueberries are packed full of vitamin C which is known to improve circulation, including the vessels in your scalp. If you have too little vitamin C, you may find that your hair becomes brittle.
    • Poultry and lean beef provides protein, zinc, iron and the B vitamins. You not only get the nutrition needed to establish the foundation for healthy hair but also maintain its strength.

Athletes Foot – Athlete’s foot is known to be caused by the ringworm fungus known as trichophyton.   The fungus grows much easier in damp, warm environments.  So prevention should include wearing cotton socks, using foot powder, airing your feet, avoiding tight shoes, and making sure you dry your feet and change socks/shoes if they get damp.

  • Method 1: Soak your feet in a mixture of 2 teaspoons salt per pint of warm water.
  • Method 2: Apply Listerine to a sterile cotton pad and rub onto feet twice daily. No need to rinse.
  • Method 3: Apply Tee Tree oil to the affected area three times per day.
  • Method 4: Soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and four parts warm water for half an hour twice daily.

Eczema – Eczema is basically very dry or inflamed skin. It can be a chronic skin disorder that results in itchy rashes.  Stress can trigger an eczema outbreak.  You may be susceptible to eczema due to diet, genetics, a weakened immune system and epidermal functional abnormalities.

  • Unprocessed organic virgin coconut oil soothes on contact works on healing eczema, dermatitis and other skin conditions.

When a medical professional is needed, it can be scary selecting the right specialist and/or hospital.  After all, depending on the required procedures, your very life may be in their hands.  While no guarantee, there are some sites where you can get information regarding patient satisfaction and feedback, survival statistics, and general reviews.  At minimum, you can obtain statistics for making more educated and confident decisions.  Some options are:

Healthcare Grades, Healthcare Quality CheckConsumer Report Healthcare Reviews and Medicare Hospital Comparisons.

Medications, Side Effects and Interactions

You can find potential side effects and interactions for common medications taken by senior citizensMedications commonly prescribed to senior citizens are listed below. To read about potential dangerous interactions and potential side effects, simply type in the name of the drug in the search box at http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html. This information is not intended to replace consultation and coordination with your doctor. Always let your doctor know if you are experiencing unusual or unexpected responses.

To read more about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices that have the potential to cause patients serious harm go to http://www.drugwatch.com/seniors/. The website is continually updated with drug recall news, recent FDA approvals, drug interactions, side effects, and current developments in the medical field. In addition, their patient advocates work with their patients to help ensure everyone gets the treatment and care they deserve.

Drug Name of Medication Generic Name Therapeutic Category/ Common Use
Accupril Quinapril ACE Inhibitor/Blood Pressure
Actonel Risedronate Osteoporosis Treatment
Aldactone Spironolactone Aldosterone Antagonist/ Blood Pressure
Amaryl Glimepiride Antidiabetic Agent
Ambien Zolpidem Anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics
Antivert Meclizine Anti-dizziness
Apresoline Hydralazine Vasodilator/ Blood Pressure
Aricept Donepezil Anti-Alzheimer’s
Atarax Hydroxyzine Anti-Anxiety, Antihistamine
Ativan Lorazepam Anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics
Atrovent Ipratropium Respiratory Agent
Avandia Rosiglitazone Antidiabetic AGent
Cardizem(Cartia, Dilacor) Diltiazem Calcium Channel Blocker/ Blood Pressure
Celebrex Celecoxib Anti-Inflammatory/Analgesic
Celexa Citalopram Antidepressent
Claritin Loratadine Non-sedating Antihistamine
Combivent (Proventil, Ventolin, Volumax, Airet) Albuterol/Ipratropium Respiratory Agent
Cordarone Amiodarone Antiarrhythmics / Cardiovascular
Coreg Carvedilol Anti-Adrenergic Agents – Beta Adrenergic Blocker
Coumadin Warfarin Anticoagulant/Antithrombotic
Cozaar Losartan Angiotensin II Inhibitor/ Blood Pressure
Darvocet-N 100 (Darvocet-N 50, E-Lor, Propacet 100, Trycet) Acetaminophen/ Propoxyphene Analgesic
Depakote Valproate Anticonvulsant
Desyrel Trazodone Antidepressant/Sleep Aid
DiaBeta (Glynase, PresTab) Glyburide Antidiabetic Agent
Dilatin (Phenytek) Phenytoin Anticonvulsant
Diovan Valsartan Potassium Replacement
Effexor (XR) Venlafaxine (XR) Antidepressant
Elavil Amitriptyline Antidepressant/Neuropathy
Evista Raloxifene Anti-estrogen
Exelon Rivastigmine Anti-Alzheimer’s
Flomax Tamsulosin Anti-Adrenergic Blocker – Peripherally Acting/ BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy)
Fosamax Alendronate Osteoporosis Treatment
Geodon Ziprasidone Anti-psychotic
Glucophage (Glumetza) Metformin Antidiabetic Agent
Glucotrol XL Glipizide Oral Antidiabetic Agent
Glucovance Glyburide/Metformin Anti-Diabetic Agent
HCTZ/Triamterene (Maxzide, Dyazide) Triamterene/HCTZ Diuretic
Hyzaar Losartan/HCTZ Angiotensin Antagonist – Diuretic / Blood Pressure
Isordil Isosorbide Dinitrate Anti-Anginal Agent
ISMO (Monoket, Imdur) Isosorbide Mononitrate Anti-Anginal Agent
Klor-Con (Cena-K, Gen-K, K-8, K +10, Kaochlor, Kaon-Cl, Kato, Kay-Ciel, K+Care, K-Dur, K-Lor, Klorvess, Klotrix, K-Lyte/Cl Powder, K-Norm, K-Sol, K-Tab, Micro-K, Potasalan, Rum-K, Slow-K, Ten-K) Potassium Chloride Potassium Replacement
Lanoxin (Digitek, Cardoxin Lanoxicaps) Digoxin Cardiac Glycoside/ CHF
Lasix Furosemide Loop Diuretic
Levaquin Levofloxacin Quinolone/ Antibiotic
Lexapro Escitalopram Anti-depressant
Lipitor Atorvastatin Lipid-Lowering Agent
Lomotil Diphenoxylate/Atropine Anti-Diarrheal
Lopressor Metoprolol Beta Blocker/ Blood Pressure
Lotensin Benazepril ACE inhibitor/ Blood Pressure
Mevacor Lovastatin Lidip-Lowering Agent
Microzide (Esidrix, HydroDIURIL, Microzide, Oretic, Hydro-chlor, Hydro-D, Carzide, Diaqua , Ezide, Hydro Par, HCTZ) Hydrochlorothiazide Thiazide Diuretic
Mobic Meloxicam Anti-Inflammatory – Analgesic
Namenda Mementine Anti-Alzheimer’s
Neurontin Gabapentin Anticonvulsant
Nitrogard (Nitrosta, Nitroquickt) Nitroglycerin Vasodilator
Norvasc Amlodipine Calcium Channel Blocker
Paxil Paroxetine Antidepressent
Percocet (Endocet, Roxicet, Tylox, Roxilox) Acetaminophen/ Oxycodone Analgesic/Narcotic
Plavix Clopidogrel Anti-Platelet Agent
Pravachol Pravastatin Lipid-Lowering Agent
Premarin (Congest, Cenestin, Prempro, Premphase) Conjugated Estrogen Estrogen Replacement
Prevacid Lansoprazole Gastrointestinal Agents
Prilosec Omeprazole Gastrointestinal Agents
Prinivil Lisinopril ACE Inhibitor
Protonix Pantoprazole Gastrointestinal Agents
Proventi(Ventolin) Albuterol Respiratory Agent
Razadyne Galantamine Anti-Alzheimer’s
Reglan Metoclopramide Gastrointestinal Agents
Remeron Mirtazapine Antidepressant
Risperdal Risperidone Antipsychotic
Septra (Cotrima, Bactrim, Cofatrim Forte, Sulfatrim) Trimethoprim/ Sulfamethoxazole Sulfonamide; Antibiotic Combination
Seroquel Quetiapine Antipsychotic
Sinemet Carbidopa/Levodopa Anti-Parkinson’s
Sterapred (Codrol, Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Prednicot, Prednisone Intesol, Pred-Pak) Prednisone Glucocorticoid/ Steroid
Synthroid (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Levo-T, Euthyrox, Unithroid) Levothyroxine Synthetic Thyroid Agent
Tenormin Atenolol Beta Blocker/ Blood Pressure
Toprol XL (Lopressor) Metoprolol Beta Blocker/ Blood Pressure
Tylenol #3 Acetaminophen/Codeine Analgesic
Ultram Tramadol Analgesic
Vasotec Enalapril ACE Inhibitor/ Blood Pressure
Vicodin (Allay, Anexsia, Anolor, Bancap, Co-Gesic, Dolacet, Dolagesic, Duocet, Hycomed, Hyco-Pap, Hydrocet, Hydrogesic,HY-PHEN, Lorcet, Lortab, Margesic-H, Oncet, Danacet 5/500, Panlor, Polygesic, Stagesic, T-Gesic, Ugesic, Vanacet, Vendone, Zydone) Acetaminophen/ Hydrocodone Analgesic
Voltaren Diclofenac Anti-Inflammatory/Analgesic
Vytorin Lipid-Lowering Agent
Xalatan Latanoprost Glaucoma Treatment
Xanax (Niravam) Alprazolam Anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics
Zithromax Azithromycin Macrolide
Zocor Simvastatin Lipid-Lowering Agent
Zoloft Sertraline Antidepressent
Zyloprim Allopurinol Anti-gout
Zyprexa Olanzapine Anti-psychotic

#medications #sideeffects #druginteractions #medicalconditions #homeremedy #homeremedies #healthissues